A Visit to Bodegas Vegamar.

A visit to Bodegas Vegamar.
D.O.Valencia, Alto turia.
C/ Garcesa, s/n
Calles, Alto Turia
46175 Valencia
Tel: 962109813
The Bodega can be found sat above the valley in which the picturesque village of Calles sits, next to the river Tuejar. Calles is approximately 45 minutes drive from Valencia up the cv 35.
The modern bodega, which only produced the first wine in 2002, is financed by Grupo Disber, a large distribution and transport company perhaps best known as Spains premier provider of the ´cesta de Navidad´or Xmas hamper placed on every bar and raffled off in the festive system or given as gifts by many companies to their customers.
The bodega is open to the public for visits normally twice a month and without previous appointment (10.00am – 14.00pm). There is ample parking for cars or coaches.
The vineyards are sited in their own microclimate and generally avoid the raking September thunderstorms which this year destroyed much of the crop of grapes and almonds in nearby Titaguas.
The winemaking process.
The grapes undergo 2 separate selection processes. The first by hand is at the picking stage where unwanted bunches are discarded immediately. The second ,also by hand takes place in the bodega before processing begins. The grapes arrive in small 25kilo boxes to avoid unwanted early fermentation due to natural yeasts interacting with juice spilt from crushed bunches at the bottom of boxes.
The grapes are then machine plucked delicately from their stalks and pumped to tanks where the first extraction of juice then takes place with the must being pumped back over the grapes above to extract the best pressing. The pulp is then passed to another tank and pressed pneumatically with the juices going to fermentation tanks and the pulp all going to waste. No orujos are produced at Vegamar currently.
Yeasts are then added to commence the fermentation.Each variety and parcel of vines is vinified separately.
Once this is complete the juices pass through a filtration system and in the case of the white and rosado wines straight to the bottling plant.
These wines are then released into the market.
The reds are pumped to oak casks, mainly French but some American, and begin the crianza process.
The length of time each wine spends in wood  depends on its final destination as a finished   blend. Once this is complete the varieties are blended and bottled and passed back into the bodega for further maturing until eventual release into the market. This bodega, at ground level is air-conditioned and temperature constant and currently holds 2500 barrels and vast quantities of maturing wine in bottles. Vegamar prefer to hold on to their stck and then distribute it on order to preserve the quality and eliminate opportunities for the wine to be ruined in the hands of others. This aids the consistent quality of product.
This quality control is evident at all stages of the process whether it be in the fermentation room, the bodega or other parts of the installation where cleanliness and attention to detail are always evident.
The Visitor Experience.
Visitors are given a very friendly welcome before the tour commences in the fermentation room and the bottling plant. People are greeted on arrival by guides and our group consisted of four people which made it that bit more intimate.
The tour follows the process from arrival of the grapes through fermentation and selection. Thereafter it passes into the bodega and subsequently the private underground bodega where examples of each cuvee are kept to observe ageing and development. Unsurprisingly as a new venture there are currently wide open spaces down here!
After this we were taken to the shop and tasting area. The installation also boasts a conference/ events salon and accomodation also all completed  to a very high standard of decoration. Visitors are given two wines to try and have the opportunity to buy before leaving.
The Wines.
Viña Costosa White and Rosado.
Viña Carrasses Tinto
Viña America Tinto
Vegamar Crianza Tinto
Vegamar Sirah Tinto
Private Colection Reserva Tinto
Cava Dominio de Calles
Cava Dominio de Calles Especial.
Pricing is consistent and between 6-10 euros a bottle depending on the wine. In the current market this allows restaurants to sell the wines with a reasonable mark-up and ordinary customers to enjoy the better cuvees at affordable prices.
Full tasting notes are available either at www.bodegasvegamar.com  or through www.verema.com simply typing the wine title into their search engine. Distribution is available (minimum 6 bottles ) through the Grupo Disber website.
A marked contrast in wine making style and size of operation to the last bodega visited in this series but similar in attention to cleanliness and quality control. A worthwhile visit and quality wines ( especially the sirah, crianza and Private colection reserve ) worth searching out and trying.
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